The holidays can be a difficult time for many people, especially those without a safe place to go. “A Joyful Feast: An Evening of Food and Friendship”—held on Thursday, Nov. 19, 6-9 p.m. in Raritan Valley Community College’s Atrium Lounge—provides a place for the campus community along with the general public to share a free meal, conversation and entertainment.
"To Write Love On Her Arms" (TWLOHA) aims to make the potluck an opportunity to relax and socialize without the usual pressures of social gatherings. “The fest is just about a safe place for people to come for the holidays,” said Emily Torres, president of the RVCC Chapter of TWLOHA.
Torres says those attending should bring a dinner dish, home-made or bought, to share and “it’s better to make it because it’s a little bit homier.” Many of the student clubs/organizations and Student Life employees have already donated food.
Donations of unused socks will also be accepted to benefit the mental health facility Carrier Clinic of Belle Mead. Non-slip socks are especially needed and donations are also accepted till Dec. 1 at the Student Life Office, located on the first floor of the Bateman Center.
The potluck will include live music, dancing and an open mic. “We will have other activities. You can present what you are thankful for and we will present hope for people who are struggling with some issues our club covers,” Torres said.
According to its mission statement, TWLOHA is “a non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicide” and raises funds for mental health treatment and addiction recovery.
“College campuses are places of transition, and the difficult realities of transition are not often talked about openly, especially when they are associated with mental health,” according to TWLOHA’s mission statement. “We believe that by giving these conversations a home, we will see students choosing to continue living their story and helping those around them do the same.”
For more information on the dinner, sock donations or to participate in the open mic, TWLOHA can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Featured image caption:
TWLOHA hosted their second holiday potluck dinner last year and will host their third on Nov. 19. Photo courtesy TWLOHA UChapter RVCC